February 19, 2018
AWB
   
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Legislation of Note

2SHB 1506: Pay Equity

Second Substitute House Bill 1506, addressing workplace practices to achieve gender pay equity, passed the House with a strong bipartisan vote and is now being considered in the Senate.

The bill modifies the Equal Pay Act by defining "similarly employed” and modifying defenses. It prohibits discrimination in providing employment opportunities based on gender. It further prohibits retaliation for certain workplace discussions about wages and other matters.

AWB is asking that the Senate pass the four amendments to the bill, all of which failed on the House floor along party lines.

The House bill is currently awaiting a floor vote in the Senate and has until March 2, to be voted out of the Senate.

For more information on this bill, contact AWB Government Affairs Director Bob Battles at 360.943.1600.



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B&O Tax Relief for Manufacturers
Support All Manufacturers


AWB tells House committee, 'It's time to let all manufacturers win'

By Jason Hagey, AWB

AWB President Kris Johnson called on lawmakers to lower the business and occupation (B&O) tax rate for all Washington manufacturers, not just those in some parts of the state, during a hearing Friday before the House Finance Committee.

In its current form, Substitute House Bill 2947 would lower the B&O rate for manufacturers in 30 counties. It would leave out nine counties, including many that consist largely of rural areas, such as Kitsap and Benton.

"It's time to let all manufacturers win," Johnson said, echoing language that Rep. Gael Tarleton, D-Ballard, used during a floor speech last week on a separate measure aimed at boosting Washington's boat manufacturers. "We're going to let our fishing fleet win," Tarleton declared before the House voted 97-1 in favor of her bill.
Read the full blog and watch the video at Olympia Business Watch
Preserving Local Commitment


Avista sale is good for customers, community

By Scott Morris, CEO, Avista Corp.

Six months ago, Avista and Hydro One announced plans to combine and form one of North America's largest regulated utilities. Since that time, as we've moved toward closing, our confidence has only grown in the benefits of this merger for all of our stakeholders, from our customers and employees to our shareholders and the communities we serve.

Given the central role that Avista plays in its service territories, both as an energy provider and a member of the community, we understand why customers and community members want assurances that they will continue to receive safe, reliable and high-quality energy at a fair price and that Avista will continue to be an active corporate citizen.

The short answer is that the proposed transaction is designed to help preserve -- and even enhance -- Avista's commitments to its customers and its communities. In a changing industry landscape, joining forces with Hydro One will help safeguard Avista's proud legacy and way of doing business...

Read the full op-ed in The Spokesman-Review
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